Blue Ant Media Ramps Up North American Production with a Number of Senior Executive Appointments, as Part of Long Term Growth Strategy

By October 10, 2018Press Releases


(L-R) Julie Chang, Vice President, International Co-Productions; Laura Michalchyshyn, original programming consultant/producer; Dan Lubetkin, Senior Vice President, U.S. Production & Development

(Toronto, Canada October 10, 2018) – Blue Ant Media, an international content producer, distributor and channel operator, announced today a number of senior executive appointments in a move to help develop the company’s production slate in the US and Canada. Effective immediately, Laura Michalchyshyn, based in New York, has signed on as an original programming consultant/producer;  Julie Chang has been appointed VP, International Co-productions; Dan Lubetkin has been promoted to Senior Vice President, U.S. Production & Development; and Sam Sniderman, Executive Vice President, Global Production has relocated to Los Angeles to further bolster the global production unit’s profile in the U.S. market.

Sam Sniderman, Julie Chang and Dan Lubetkin will represent the production unit at MIPCOM 2018 next week.

“With a significant and recognizable production business already established internationally, Blue Ant Media is turning its focus to Canada and the US, and these executive appointments are a springboard to our long term content creation growth strategy in North America,” said Sam Sniderman, Executive Vice-President, Global Production, Blue Ant Media. “Working closely with Laura Michalchyshyn is also very exciting for us. Her network of talented writers, filmmakers and producers will help us get new North American projects off the ground, which is critical to our goals of creating and owning more content with global resonance.”

Laura Michalchyshyn’s key focus will be growing the company’s production slate in the US and Canada, while also connecting Blue Ant Media’s global producers with talent and buyers worldwide. Operating out of New York as a producer Michalchyshyn’s recent work includes Bobby Kennedy For President with director Dawn Porter for Netflix ,  Crawford with creator/director Mike Clattenburg for CBC, and the HBO and Univeral distributed documentary Momentum Generation by Mike and Jeff Zimbalist. In 2012 She co founded Sundance Productions, with Robert Redford and together executive-produced The American West (AMC), Ocean Warriors (Animal Planet), The March (PBS), All The President’s Men Revisited (Discovery), as well as Death Row Stories and Chicagoland (CNN). Her previous experience also includes senior executive roles at Alliance Atlantis, Discovery and Sundance Channel, where she commissioned hundreds of hours of scripted and non-scripted content

Julie Chang, Vice President, International Co-Productions, working closely with Sam Sniderman and and Laura Michalchyshyn, will be focused on the identification, structuring and closing of content creation and financing opportunities for Blue Ant Media’s production businesses around the globe. Prior to joining Blue Ant Media, Julie Chang was the Senior Vice President of Business and Legal Affairs with Peace Point Rights and Peace Point Entertainment Group. She had a first hand in building Peace Point’s International Rights division and oversaw the business and legal affairs of all production for various Licensees on a global basis. Prior to Peace Point, Julie was with Behind the Scenes Services Inc. and was an associate at Lewis Birnberg Hanet, LLP where she represented international distributors and executive producers for scripted/lifestyle/factual programming. Chang has held executive positions in a number of areas of the industry including home distribution for Lions Gate Films, business and legal affairs for the former Alliance Atlantis and UK-based Café Productions. Well versed in legal and business affairs for international distribution and productions, Julie has extensive experience with Canadian tax credits and equity funds and has overseen interim financing transactions for numerous Canadian Productions and International Treaty Co-Productions.

Operating out of Los Angeles, Dan Lubetkin, Senior Vice President, U.S. Production & Development leads Blue Ant Media’s U.S. production studio and works closely with Sam Sniderman to grow the company’s U.S. content business generally. In his previous role as Chief Content Officer for Blue Ant Digital Studios, Lubetkin built a world-class slate of original programming, including YouTube Originals series, The Sidemen Show, which premiered in June 2018 and viewed over 7 million times; several recent short form commissions for Facebook Watch; numerous sales to digital streamers and cable distributors in the US. Lubetkin, former SVP, Production & Development for Avalon Television, is a veteran executive and producer and is well known for his work on Last Week Tonight with John Oliver and Comedy Central’s Workaholics and Adam Devine’s House Party.

Sam Sniderman, EVP, Global Production, Blue Ant Media oversees Blue Ant’s international Production Division, which includes NHNZ (New Zealand), Beach House Pictures (Singapore), Antenna Pictures (London), Blue Ant Digital Studios (Los Angeles), Look Mom! Productions (Toronto) and Northern Pictures (Sydney). Sniderman is formerly the Global Chief Operating Officer and MD, Film and Entertainment at Pulse Films (a Vice Media company). In these roles, he was responsible for the commercial performance of Pulse’s TV, film and branded content output and helped to guide Pulse through rapid growth, with including scripted and unscripted commissions from Channel 4, Sky Atlantic and ITV. He also spearheaded the financing and distribution of award winning theatrical feature films like 20,000 Days on Earth (Nick Cave), Who Is Dayani Cristal (Gael Garcia Bernal) and Shut Up and Play the Hits (LCD Soundsystem).

Blue Ant Media is a privately held, international content producer, distributor and channel operator. From our production houses around the world, we create content for multiple genres including factual, factual entertainment, short-form digital series and kids programming. Our distribution business, Blue Ant International, offers a catalogue of 3,000+ hours of content, including the largest 4K natural history offering on the market. Blue Ant Media’s international channel business offers a portfolio of media brands such as Love Nature (International), ZooMoo Networks (International), Smithsonian Channel Canada, BBC Earth (Canada), Blue Ant Entertainment (International), Blue Ant Extreme (International) and HGTV (New Zealand). Blue Ant Media is headquartered in Toronto, with operations in Los Angeles, Singapore, Auckland, Dunedin, London, Washington, Sydney, Beijing and Taipei.

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